Perhaps the single most misunderstood axle term is reverse cut, often mistakenly referred to as reverse rotation. A reverse cut housing is not a standard cut housing turned upside down, it is a specially designed housing. The term "reverse cut" refers to the direction of the spiral cut in the ring gear, which is opposite that of a standard cut ring gear: Contrary to popular belief, it does not run backwards or in reverse. The principle behind a reverse cut is to strengthen the operation of the gear when it is used for a front driving axle application.
Hi-pinion or reverse-cut axles have also become very popular as rear driving axles in short wheelbase vehicles with suspension lifts because the higher pinion improves drive line angles so well. Dynatrac was among the first to pioneer this application and continues to offer the very best and strongest Hi-pinion axles available anywhere.
Standard-cut axles are often used as the front driving axles because of clearance issues, gear ratio availability, cost, or suspension considerations. However comparable reverse-cut axles have the distinct advantage of overall ring and pinion gear strength.
Reverse-cut axles should be used in the rear when higher ground clearance, reduced drive shaft angles or short wheelbase are desirable issues. Reverse-cut rear axles should be avoided for heavy GVW vehicles or heavy highway towing. Dynatrac has thoroughly tested Dana 44 reverse-cut, and Ford 8.8 reverse-cut, rear axles and found them to be weak and prone to failure in all but the very, very lightest duty applications. We can only recommend the proven Dynatrac Dana 60 reverse-cut design as unquestionably dependable even under adverse situations.
The gear sets used in each type of axle are not interchangeable: Standard cut gears cannot be used in place of reverse cut, and vice versa. The housings, which have different lubrication passages, are also not interchangeable. However, differential cases (open, l/s, or locker) are compatible with both styles, as long as case spline count matches the axle shaft.